Mariners win but Reds thank woodwork

By Chris Dunkerley


Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season, Round 3
5:30pm, Saturday 26 October, 2013
Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(Nick Fitzgerald 2′)
defeated
Adelaide United FC 0

 Central Coast Mariners FC gained their first 3 pointer of the season with a 1-0 win over Adelaide United FC in Gosford last night in front of 9,109 fans.

A ball out wide after 80 seconds by Mitchell Duke to an unmarked Nick Fitzgerald wide on the right, saw ‘Fitzy’ prop his run and cut inside. Spying Eugene Galekovic still on his line and to the right of goal, he steered his ground shot through players in the area and just inside the left upright as the ‘keeper scrambled to his right. 1-0

In a free flowing match it was Adelaide who held possession better but they were throttled though defence in depth by the home side. The Mariners could have had several more goals and will need to work on being more deadly in front.

In the 11th minute from lovely interplay down the left by the home side, playmaker Marcos Flores send a cross flashing past goal and Fitzgerald could just not connect at the right post.

In the 26th minute a loose ball by the Mariners was lept on by Tarek Elrich but his shot was dragged across goal and did not worry Coast’s custodian Justin Pasfield.

Adelaide were passing the ball around well but finding it hard to penetrate.

35 minutes and some more interpay by Flores and Duke led to Michael McGlinchey hitting over the crossbar.

Fitzgerald might have had another just before the break, when he hit an angled shot from the right, Eugene Galekovic got a hand to it and it cannoned off the underside of the crossbar but back out into play.

In the early second half both midfields were working hard to pressure. At times Sergio Cirio gave Storm Roux a hard time down the left but could not link up with team-mates close to goal.

In the 69th minute Adelaide gave away a free-kick 25m out. Michael McGlinchey sent it toward the top right of goal but Galekovic sprang left to palm it past his upright.

Trent Sainsbury sent a header against the post in the 73 minute, and seven minutes later it was the post that saved the Reds again when substitute Mile Sterjovski sent the ball goalward only to see it cannon off the right upright. The rebound came out to fellow substitute Matt Simon whose shot went over the bar.

Just before stoppage time the Red’s substitute Ryan Kitto sent a header just wide under pressure.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold had a first choice squad available but Josep Gombau had lost attack minded Jeronimo Neumann to an adductor strain, a week after Marcelo Carrusca picked up the same injury, and so resorted to playing Brent McGrath up front with Fabio Ferriera wide on the right.

“We got a clean sheet and there were a lot of promising signs,” Mariners coach Graham Arnold said after the game. “The good thing was that the boys stuck to the game plan, and had good character even though we missed chance after chance.”

He added “I will also say this is the best start that we’ve had in the three years I have had at the Club. We are probably at about 50 per cent of where we will be in another four or five weeks. As a team the way we do things is we build into the season. We don’t want to hit round one in great form and fall away. We want to be hitting our straps a few more rounds in.”

The Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau reflected that his team was still in building and the injuries were still a concern.

MATCH STATS:

Crowd: 9,109

Central Coast Mariners FC
Player listing: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON (c) (6. Brent GRIFFITHS +90+3), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 10. Marcos FLORES (21. Mile STERJOVSKI ‘+78’), 11. Nick FITZGERALD (19. Matt SIMON +66’), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY
Substitutes not used: 12. Liam REDDY (rgk), 24. Jesse CURRAN

Coach: Graham Arnold

Yellow Cards: Joshua Rose 84′, John Hutchinson 87′
Red Cards: Nil

Adelaide United FC
Player listing: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (Gk) (C), 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 4. Jonathan MCKAIN, 5. Osama MALIK (14. Cameron WATSON +75’), 8. ISAIAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 13. Steve LUSTICA, 18. Michael ZULLO, 21. Tarek ELRICH, 22. Fabio FERREIRA (25. Ryan KITTO +78’), 24. Brent MCGRATH (17. Awer MABIL +59’)

Substitutes not used:  20. Paul IZZO (rgk), 23. Jordan ELSEY

Coach: Josep Gombau

Yellow cards: Osama Malik 66′
Red Cards: Nil

Ratings

Referee: Peter Green 9/10
Assistants: Nathan MacDonald, Scott Edeling ; 4th official: Tim McGilchrist

BOTN Player Points:
3. Marcos Flores (CCM)

2. Nick Montgomery (CCM)

1. Sergio Cirio (AU)

Pitch rating: 9/10
Game rating: 8/10

By Chris Dunkerley

Photo: Lowenna Rappo

Central Coast Stadium R3 HAL9 - Photo: Lowenna Rappo

Central Coast Stadium R3 HAL9 – Photo: Lowenna Rappo